DoD’s Network Defense Headquarters Achieves Full Operational Capability
FORT MEADE, Md. — The U.S. Cyber Command component responsible for securing, operating and defending the Defense Department’s complex infrastructure of roughly 15,000 networks with 3 million users has achieved full operational capability, the command said in a Jan. 31 release.
Joint Force Headquarters (JFHQ) Department of Defense Information Network (DoDIN) reached the milestone after three years of building capacity and capability to secure, operate and defend the DoDIN, a global network enabling military operations across all warfighting domains.
“The JFHQ-DoDIN team has worked hard since inception in 2014 to reach this milestone,” said Army Lt. Gen. Alan R. Lynn, commander of the joint force headquarters, who also serves as director of the Defense Information Systems Agency. “A highlight for me was to see the organization take the reins of actively defending the DoDIN in real-world threat and attack conditions.”
Lynn noted that the headquarters did this by organizing to operate as a joint force in the cyber domain, just as DoD does in other domains.
“We saw dramatic progress in a number of areas in 2017,” added Navy Rear Adm. Kathleen M. Creighton, JFHQ-DoDIN deputy commander. “It’s important to celebrate and reflect on this accomplishment while acknowledging that there is more work to do.”
To reach full operational capability, JFHQ-DoDIN participated in a number of service, Joint Staff, Cyber Command and other combatant command exercises in support of mission outcomes and managed daily operations to address and counter significant cyber threats. The headquarters also deployed its six cyber protection teams to support high-priority military operations.
All 133 Cyber Mission Force teams are on schedule to achieve full operational capability by September, Cyber Command officials said.
Another signal of the command’s growing importance is the implementation of Operation Gladiator Shield. The order organizes the DoDIN into operational areas and designates DoD commanders and directors as responsible for the operation and defense of each named area, officials explained.
OGS is a fundamental shift in the way DoD defends its network holistically, they added, calling it a cultural shift that transforms defensive cyberspace forces into a cohesive and unified capability in defense of the wider DoDIN.
“I am incredibly proud of our team,” Creighton said. “Every person, in his or her own way, contributed to this accomplishment, and again we see that cyber is the ultimate team sport.”